Grace period and waiting period are two different aspects of health insurance. The waiting period is the time for which you won’t get the cover for a specific illness, disease or pre-existing condition. Whereas the grace period is the extra time you will get for your policy premium payment. So if you are purchasing health insurance or going to purchase one, you should know the difference between the grace period and waiting period. Let’s read this page below and know this in detail.
What is Grace Period & Waiting Period in Health Insurance?
When you miss your renewal premium due date, the company will provide you a grace period to pay the due premium without any penalty interest. But if you fail to pay during the grace period, your policy can terminate. So take advantage of this grace period to pay the premium in case you fail to do so on the due date. Whereas, the waiting period is the duration that you must wait for if you want to make a claim.
What are the Minimum and Maximum Grace Period and Waiting Period in Health Insurance?
Most insurance companies provide a minimum grace period of 15 days for the due premium payment. But some insurers will offer you a grace period of 30 days too. So, the limit of your grace period may vary based on your insurer. Whereas there are different types of waiting periods such as –
- Initial Waiting Period:- The insurer puts an initial waiting period in a health insurance policy for the first 30-90 days from the start of the policy. During this period, you won’t receive any claim benefit from the health insurance policy if you fall sick or get hospitalized. But most insurers don’t apply the initial waiting period for accidental injuries. It means if you are injured in an accident during the initial waiting period, the same will be admissible for the claim.
- Pre-existing Disease Waiting Period:– The particular waiting period for pre-existing diseases usually ranges from 1 to 4 years of continuous policy coverage.
- Maternity Benefits Waiting Period:- The insurer will put a waiting period of 9 months to 36 months for maternity coverage that includes baby delivery, cesarean, legal termination of pregnancy, etc.
- Disease-specific Waiting Period:- There is a specific waiting period ranging from 1 to 2 years for particular illnesses or ailments like tumor, ENT disorder, hernia, osteoporosis, etc.
Note:- Not every health insurance company would provide you a grace period.
Things You Should Know About Health Insurance Grace Period and Waiting Period
- No coverage benefits are available in the grace period because you haven’t paid your premium
- You can’t file a claim during the grace period
- Your waiting period will restart and your continuity benefits will be lost if you don’t pay your premium until the grace period expiry.
- After the completion of the waiting period, pre-existing diseases or specific illnesses mentioned in the policy bond will be covered.
- The insurer will charge a late fee if you miss the premium payment within the grace period
- With a grace period, you will get an extension to ensure that your health coverage remains intact even if you miss the renewal premium payment.
- To avoid unethical practices, the waiting period clause was introduced in a health insurance plan
- The waiting period in your health insurance policy is affected by various factors like the type of health insurance, medical history, the age of the insured at inception, etc.
Note:- You should read the fine print of the policy document while purchasing a health insurance policy. This way, you can pick the plan with a lesser waiting period and a reasonably long grace period. This will make your insurance policy better and you can claim the pre-existing illness or conditions as soon as possible instead of bearing medical expenses from your pocket due to a long waiting period clause and get greater flexibility on your premium payment with a reasonable grace period.